New Apartment Design Standards Bring Major Changes

Draft amendments to the Design Standards for New Apartments were published during December 2017.

The amendments have the potential to affect the design of all new apartment developments in Ireland.

Some of the main changes are as follows:

  • Up to 50% 1 Bed or Studio units (where no more than 20-25% of the total proposed developments are studios).
  • No minimum requirement for 3-bed or more bedroom units.
  • Studio units now allowed in all developments over 50+ units.
  • Minimum area of Studios units reduced from 40 sq m to 37 sq m
  • Introduction of a 3 person 2 bed unit of a minimum area of 63 sq m suitable to meet social housing needs or as a variation in housing type – no more than 10% of total number of units in a development this size
  • Dual aspect reduced from 50% to 33% on sites near to the city or town centres, close to quality public transport or in SDZ areas.
  • Dual aspect remains at 50% on greenfield or standalone brownfield regeneration sites.
  • Where less than 50% dual aspect units are provided the minimum ceiling height should be 2.7m generally with 3.0m on the ground floor.
  • 8 units per stair/lift increased to 12 units per stair / lift.
  • Car space requirement wholly eliminated (‘Car free’) or substantially reduced in larger scale and high density developments in central locations or adjacent to high employment areas. (visitor, service and drop off parking required).
  • Car space requirement may be reduced in suburban / urban locations served by public transport or close to town centres.

Build To Rent (BTR) Schemes:

BTR schemes now qualify for assessment by planning authorities where the following may be applied (subject to BTR requirements achieved):

  • No restriction on development mix
  • Flexibility on the minimum storage and private amenity requirements subject to the provision of compensatory communal support facilities.
  • Default of no car parking provision on the basis of BTR schemes being centrally located and or in the proximity of public transport networks.

Shared Accommodation Schemes

  • Shared accommodation schemes only appropriate in particular locations where responding to an identified urban housing need.
  • Residential Units comprising of 2-6 Bedrooms of single or double occupancy (Up to 8 persons per unit).
  • Shared accommodation minimum room sizes now defined (Single Room incl. Ensuite – 12m2; Double incl. Ensuite 18m2)
  • No Part V requirement in shared accommodation schemes.
  • Shared accommodation schemes only appropriate in particular locations where responding to an identified urban housing need.
  • Shared accommodation may be a sub-component of a BTR scheme.

For more information connect with David Petherbridge and Carol Spollen.